Welcome to colorful Trenton, New Jersey, and the wild and wonderful world of Stephanie Plum. In One for the Money, rookie “apprehension agent” Plum may be a bit wet behind the ears, but nobody’s gonna take it easy on her; especially her first skip, an ex-cop and murder suspect named Morelli.
First, I need to get this out of the way: I do not like Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum. That could be because I don’t like KH period, but I think it’s much more likely it’s because she just isn’t who I pictured as Plum. When it comes out on DVD I might rent it just to see. On the other hand, I might not.
Also, I think the pricing on this novel since the movie came out is ridiculous. I bought a mmp (with the cover shown) for $7.99 a billion years ago. Now the only cover available on Amazon is the one with Heigl on it and it’s listed for sale at $14.99 (on sale for $9.98). This book is lighthearted and hilarious, but not worth $14.99 for a paperback. If I were you I’d pick it up at a used book store, or from the library.
Stephanie Plum is a little down on her luck. The Trenton, New Jersey girl has lost her job as a lingerie buyer for a sleazy department store, her car has been repossessed, her overbearing Italian mother is trying to set her up with a balding, fat butcher and she’s had to sell off all her furniture and appliances just to make ends meet.
As a last resort, she goes to her cousin Vinnie and blackmails him into giving her a job…as a bounty hunter. Steph doesn’t know much about being a bounty hunter, but she’s determined to get the $10,000 finders fee on the biggest skip-trace on the books. One vice cop, Joseph Morelli.
Thing is, Joe and Steph have a little history together, and Steph isn’t sure if bringing him is just business as usual, or a personal vendetta. The first time she met Morelli she was 7 and he dragged her into his parents garage to play Choo-Choo, and didn’t even let her hold the flashlight. Then, when she was 17, he nailed her behind the Eclair case at the donut shop she was working, then wrote all the dirty details in the men’s room at Mario’s sub shop. Four years later, Steph saw him walking down the street and ran him over with her dad’s Buick. So, yeah, bringing him down might be personal.
To make matters worse, Steph gets on the bad side of a psychotic deranged boxer name Benito Ramirez. But Steph is made of tough stuff and she isn’t going to let a 250 lb psycho keep her from getting her man…
This is the first book in a possible neverending book series about bond agent Stephanie Plum. It’s the perfect set up for the series and one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.
From Steph’s Mazda Miata getting repo’d by a sleazy guy she went to high school with, to her mother’s constant harping, this book is laugh out loud funny. In the first three chapters alone, I was laughing so hard I was crying. Let’s see:
Grandma Mazer, Steph’s 80-year-old grandmother decides to start wearing biker shorts and accidentally shoots the ass out of the chicken with Steph’s gun during Sunday dinner.
Steph goes to get a job with her cousin Vinnie and has to blackmail him into giving her the job by reminding him, “I know about Madam Zaretski and her whips and chains. I know about the boys. And I know about the duck.”
Steph “commandeers” Morelli’s car (read: steals) and when Morelli comes for it, he catches her the shower. She’s stolen the distributor cap and he wants it back. When she refuses to give it up he handcuffs her to the curtain rod – naked – and leaves her there. Hey, he’s not a complete asshole, he left her the phone.
Steph’s antics are enough to have anyone in stitches. Pick up the first book and give yourself over to the crazy world of Stephanie Plum. You won’t be sorry.
4.25 out of 5 (It’s not without its flaws, but the laugh factor alone is enough to make me score this in the high range)
Click here for the full series list and reading order.
As an aside: the first few books in this series are hilarious and very addicting. Unfortunately as the series wears on, the shine wears off. I stopped reading at book 12 and have no intention of going back.